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Key change indicators (KCI) in organizational change management

Key change indicators (KCI) in organizational change management

Measuring performance is a vital way for managers to ensure their businesses are moving in the right direction. To measure and improve performance, you need to track the right key performance indicators (KPIs). According to Oxford dictionary Key Performance Indicators (KPI) may be defined as “A quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc. in meeting objectives for performance.”

In other words, key performance indicators are a type of performance measure that evaluate the success of a particular activity. Those activities may be such as projects, programs, products, processes, strategies, and so on. However, in business language the key performance indicator concept is often used as a measure to evaluate strategy and success of operational business.

Key change indicators (KCI) in organizational change management

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to measure operative business in a strategy period, and to measure achieving your strategic goals. Various organizational changes are usually made in that time. Key Change Indicators (KCI) are the metrics that measure how the change project is going.

Successful organizational change management requires setting goals as well. Nevertheless, in that context we are using the concept of Key Change Indicators (KCI). The reason is that you should not mix your KPIs, that measure the everyday business, with KCIs, that measure the organization change or business transformation. Having a clear distinction between these two concepts ensures much less confusion and conflicts in management.

Setting and defining your key change indicators depends greatly on your change project. However, there are some rules of thumb that you should follow. When you are defining your KCIs, a good guideline to follow is the model that Doran1 introduced decades ago, but which is still used widely. The model is called SMART. Basically, it suggests that when you are the setting management goals and indicators, those should be Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related.

1. Specific

A common mistake is that the measure is indicating something that is too broad to understand or the factors affecting the metrics are too broad. You need the metrics to be targeted at a specific area for improvement.

2. Measurable

It is quite easy to fabricate measures to evaluate regarding the change, but usually the problem concerns how to reliably collect the data so that the metrics remain measurable. Besides the current information systems and manual forms, you may need to use a specific tool to collect the data. Our Priocta tool is made exactly for that purpose. With Priocta you can use a much broader setup of measures and metrics regarding your change project.

3. Assignable

An indicator should be able to be assigned as somebody’s responsibility. There should be a person who is specified to take care of the measuring of that indicator, and who will be in change of the quality of the data.

4. Realistic

An important thing to evaluate is whether the goals of an indicator are achievable with the given available resources. The indicators and their goals should be ambitious, but still realistic. Otherwise the motivation to pursue the goal can decrease or vanish.

5. Time-related

You should never set up an indicator that has no exact goal. You should specify when the result can be achieved. Key change indicators of an organizational change project should also always have definitive, time-related goals.

The model has been supplemented various times after Doran introduced it. For example, it has been suggested that the model should be evaluated and reviewed2. Thus, it makes the model SMARTER. From our perspective the evaluation and review are the keys to successful organization change management. You must be able to react swiftly and nimbly if the change is not happening, is too slow, or in the wrong direction. To ensure this, Priocta is the perfect tool.

1 Doran, G. T. (1981). "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives". Management Review. 70(11): 35–36.

2 Yemm, G. (2013). Essential Guide to Leading Your Team: How to Set Goals, Measure Performance and Reward Talent. Pearson Education. pp. 37–39. ISBN 978-0273772446.

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